Which Sweater Pattern?

I’m putting together a list of knitting stuff I want for when relatives ask for gift ideas, and I really want to make a sweater. I want something that isn’t really loose or baggy and looks younger as I am in college. I found these two patterns online and like both of them. Abotanicity says that it is harder, but I have absolutely abysmal crocheting skills and don’t really understand any of the directions surrounding the crochet cast on in Amused. For those of you with more experience than I, would Abotanicity truly be more difficult than Amused? I have made a pair of socks, a fair isle headband, and several hats in the round in addition to a few smaller flat pieces. Or, does anyone have a pattern that they can suggest? I don’t want to have to sew, so seamless is a must. Also, would Knitpicks Palette yarn work for Abotanicity or Wool of the Andes for Amused?

Lastly, I don’t have a set of interchangeable needles, so I wanted to try and estimate the size needle I would need. Is there some way to guess what size needle you need to obtain gague without actually having to try different needle sizes with that specific yarn?

Abotanicity: http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/PATTabotanicity.html
Amused: http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter08/PATTamused.php

Thank You!!

You do have to try different needle sizes to see what gauge you get; start with what you have and see how close that comes to the pattern gauge. If it’s off you could do another size of the pattern.

You might not have to do a crochet cast on, just do a regular CO with someother yarn, then start with the yarn you use for the pattern and later pick out or cut off the cast on yarn.

I’m primarily a sweater knitter. I admire your ambition in considering either of the two! To answer your question about the difficulty of either design: I think they are equally challenging. And I’ll also add, I’d ‘wrestle’ with either of them!

Re: gauge > correct gauge is a step that cannot be over-emphasized. at the minimum, 4"x 4" swatching (using the yarn you bought for a sweater) is a step that should not be skipped. Start with the needle size recommended by the yarn label for the gauge you need. Knit an entire 4"x 4" swatch. If your gauge is spot on, you’re gold. If not, you must knit another swatch, adjusting the needle size accordingly.

[B]Gauge Nightmares:[/B] a (supposedly) size 36 sweater that is big enough to fit a size 2X woman…or conversely, small enough to fit a 9 yr old.

Wouldn’t that be a tragic waste of time and money?

Take the time to get the correct gauge. It’s critical to a well-fitting garment.

About washing the gauge swatch (once you’ve got a good one): this step will reveal how much your yarn is going to stretch, lengthwise and widthwise. It’s [B] shocking[/B] how naughty some yarns are when they are soaked! I suppose yarns with a ‘superwash’ label are less naughty. I don’t use superwash yarns per se, but they are great for knitted things that you definitely wanna wash in the washing machine, and pop in the dryer. (shudder)

So in your opinion, would they both be too difficult for a first sweater?

It’s actually a good idea to make the swatch a little larger, especially for a sweater. If the gauge says 20 sts/4", then cast on at least 24 sts, 30 would be good. The reason is the edge sts shouldn’t be used to measure, they’re a different size than the middle stitches and curl under so you could get an inaccurate measure. Then yes, it’s helpful to wash and lay out the swatch the same way you will for the finished item. Some yarns stretch a lot when wet, others fill in - it’s good to know what the yarn will do. Superwash tends to stretch a lot when wet, but will go back to the knit size when put in the dryer. You could also hang it for a day or so after it’s dry to see if and how much the FO will stretch when you wear it.

And also, I keep reading how super slick the metal Options are, so I was thinking of getting Zephyr tips for the project. For Abotanicity, would it matter that the part done on sock sized needles would need to be either metal or wood and then I would be switching to plastic? I normally like metal, but I’ve only used cheap Boye and I’m hesitant to do something complicated on a really slippery needle.

You’re changing needle size anyway so any slight change in your knitting due to type of needle really won’t show.

There’s nothing wrong with ‘cheap Boye’ needles, I’ve used them for years and like them. But I also my bamboo, nylon and acrylic ones too. Different tools for different types of yarn and knitting.

One thing you might want to take into consideration (since this will be your first sweater) is the yarn/needle size. In other words, Amused requires a recommended needle size of 9, while Abotanicity requires recommended needle sizes of 1, 3, and 5. This means that you will be knitting MANY more stitches for Abotanicity than you will for Amused. So if casting on, say, 128 stitches (for Abotanicity)–as opposed to 62 stitches (for Amused)–and then [B]increasing[/B] from there is something you find daunting, then perhaps Amused might be the way to go. It’s definitely something to consider, lest you be making this sweater for the rest of your life!!

I just found this one, but since its a paid pattern I can’t read through it-would this be a better/another good first sweater? Also, when it says that for the pocket you need 2 circs or 1 set of interchangeable does anyone know if it would work if you have 2 cables, 1 set of tips & put stops on the end?

Thank you all for your help and sorry for so many questions!!


That said, there are some beginner sweater knitters who are able to do amazing things their first time out! ‘Naturals’ so to speak…so I wouldn’t tell you you can or cannot. You might! :thumbsup:

[B]But if I were teaching either of these two sweaters at the LYS, [/B] I would classify the class as [B]Advanced[/B] and you wouldn’t have the skill level to join this class. I wouldn’t take your money. Not fair to you, or the other students in the class.

You’d be amazed at the first sweater I ever knit back in 1971. The only knitting experience I had up til then were slippers and scarves,.and pretty darn plain designs. But I was fearless, and knew how to read and follow directions! This aran pullover was perfection, [B] except that my size XS pullover turned out to be a size 2X![/B] Yeah, Gauge Nightmare! I didn’t know the first thing about gauge and swatching!

I bought my yarn and the needle size recommended, and off I went! I was a very relaxed, loose knitter for years! On subsequent sweater projects, after I learned about the importance of gauge, I’d typically have to size down from a US8 to a US5, as an example.

If you are good about reading directions and following the process, and using resources that are available to knitters today via Knitting Help and YouTube videos, you might be able to knit either of the designs you have your heart set on.

Whatever design you decide on, pay attention to gauge, and don’t start out as a lazy knitter who won’t swatch! It’s a good, solid habit, not one to be skipped over, especially with garment knitting.

Oh I ADORE this pullover! Such cute detailing! Looks to be easier than the other two.

It’s still not exactly the style considered ‘Beginner’…more like ‘Intermediate’.

I’d have to read the pattern to answer your question about the tools needed. But take it at face value, and get the tools needed.

This looks like a lot of detail work, but could be doable.

My first sweater was also my second real project. It was a top down raglan with a cable down the front. I just followed the pattern which explained everything, so I didn’t find it difficult.

You may be the same and be able to figure out everything in the pattern. Look at the projects for this one though, and read the comments to see if anyone ran into difficulties. From skimming through them, they all seem pretty positive, so it may be a very well written pattern that’s not too advanced.

Great advice, Sue!

The kangaroo pockets will be her greatest challenge. But if she follows every step to the T, she should get it.

If a designer isn’t real good at explaining what to do and when to do it, her customers will comment about their troubles.

You’ve gotten some frank and very helpful advice above. I think this sweater is a good choice (thanks for the link). It all looks pretty straightforward and the pocket is very do-able. The summary at the bottom of the page does say that “If you use interchangeable needles you can use a set of tips and 2 cables…” so you should be ok there. One cable will hold the pocket sts until you knit the front and then you join the two sets of sts. Save the other patterns until you have a little more experience. It may save some agony and frustration. Enjoy knitting whatever you decide to go with!